Kendra Meeker finished her high school golf career with a third place finish in the Washington State Golf Tournament held at Lake Spanaway Golf Club in Tacoma. It was her fourth consecutive visit to the state finals and her best finish. Kendra posted a final round of 77, to go with her opening round of 82, for a 159 total, good enough for third place by one shot.
I have watched her play a lot of golf over the last four years and this has to be one of the finest rounds she has ever played. The first hole set the tone for the entire day. Kendra hit her drive a little too well on the first hole and the ball ran through the fairway under one of the many towering fir trees that line almost every hole. She punched out to about 40 yards from the green in the middle of the fairway. Kendra lined up her sand wedge and took dead aim at the hole, I watched in amazement as the ball flew right into the cup on the fly, rattled the metal flag like it had been hit with a hammer and the ball never came out of the cup. Thank you very much; she started the day with a birdie three on the first hole!
Next to hit was arch rival Hanna Roh from Kings High School. She was just off the green with a slick downhill chip. Hanna is known for her short game skills and true to form, she chips her shot right into the cup to top Kendra’s birdie for one of her own. Game on. The gallery was close to 50 people and they were all hooting and hollering as those two shots were worth the price of admission without ever seeing another shot.
The other two players, first round leader with a 76 Bree Wandershield, 2013 Champion and Lauryn Keating 78, 2013 State runner up, looked at each other and asked, “What are we in for today”. Kendra finished the front nine with an even par 36. She picked up three shots on Bree who posted a 39 and two shots on Lauryn who shot 38. Hanna struggled on a couple holes and posted a 40. Suddenly, I think Kendra realized that she was actually in contention to win the High School State Tournament.
It took me three holes to get her settled back down, I got her to finally take a few deep breaths and focus only on the shot at that moment. She went bogie, bogie, double on 10, 11, and 12. She then got back in the groove and finished the last six holes with five pars and a bogie. Her 41 on the back took her out of contention for the championship. This is the first time in her golf career that she has been on the big stage and had an opportunity to actually win a major tournament. This experience will pay great dividends as she moves on to her golf career at Bellevue College.
Lauryn Keating shot one over on the back nine to beat Bree Wandershield by one shot for the championship, 153 to 154. Kendra's strong finish was enough to beat Hanna by one shot 159 to 160.
What a great way to finish your high school golf career. We are all proud of our own Friday Harbor High School golfing star, Kendra Meeker.
Article by Friday Harbor High School Golf Coach Jack Rice